Find us on Facebook!

To keep updated like our page at:

Or on Twitter:

Or E-mail us at:

Thursday 30 August 2018

Reviews: UDO, Massive Wagons, Diemonds, Wilson (Reviews By Alex)

U.D.O: Steel Factory (AFM)

Since Udo Dirkschneiders departure from metal titans Accept in 1987, he has had a prolific career with U.D.O. With the help of Volbeat Producer, Jacob Hanson, Steel Factory emanates all the intensity ay you would expect. The vocals, despite understandably brittle, have lost no of attitude and command, reaching glorious heights on the opening Tongue Reaper, maintaining a low and sinister growl on Keeper Of My Soul and proving darkly melodious on Rose In The Desert. Yet while our frontman may take centre stage, this is by no means a solo endeavor. Guitar parts change from stints of carnivorous complexity to periods of straightforward, in-your-face chugging, a contrast best bought to life on songs like One Heart One Soul, In The Heat Of The Night and Rising High.

On a complimentary note, the drum and bass can, of course, add to the marching tone created by so many good metal songs by keeping the rhythm, yet in the spirit of power metal often take on a stampeding character, Eraser and Rising High being more than happy to show off that quality. Still very much grounded in the classic Eighties metal sounds, as well as paying homage to influences from Judas Priest to Iron Maiden, the fingerprints of Dirkschnieder's time in the spotlight, may be all over this record, yet it is all the better as a consequence. Huge anthemic songs, sure to be sung by millions in arenas, are a testament to the intriguing stage presence and determination of these musicians. 7/10

Massive Wagons: Full Nelson (Earache Records)

Massive Wagons wearing a range of influences proudly on their sleeve. Whether that's the ambition of classic rock, the rootsy charm of blues, or even the aesthetic of punk, they commit to each style with enthusiasm and humour, making it difficult not to be instantly intrigued! We begin with the traditional rock n roll swagger of Under No Illusion, where guitars are crunchy, the rhythm section is steady, and Baz Mills’ vocals are crisp and commanding. Exploring the idea of refusing to sign your life away on a dotted line and playing by your own rules, a clear sense of optimism mixed with defiance takes hold; A sentiment which proves handy, with the angsty and brash China Plates taking down show-off’s and snobs with a good helping of sarcasm and raw liveliness. Billy Balloon Head and Sunshine Smile, are based in memorable riffs and beats, emanating traditional, almost bluesy vibes, yet never losing the signature vigour or bravado, which Massive Wagons have down almost to perfection.

Of course, every good band has a sense of restraint, which we see in the storied and romantic Northern Boy, beginning as subdued and blossoming into a fully-fledged guitar ballad. On a more unique footing, Robot has a futuristic and sinister stamp, the guzzling riff, weird dissonant effects and eerie lyricism proving inspiring, albeit different. Back To The Stack is another romper, a few well-placed references to idles like status quo not left amiss. Hate Me can be envisaged as a singalong moment, ‘’scream a little louder, get it off your chest’’ serving as a rallying cry to rock audiences across the globe. Drawing to an end on the danceable Ballad Of Vernon Hayes, the climatic and soaring Ratio and the endearingly strong closer Tokyo, you are left with a desire to spin the record again. Not to shore up your opinion but to pick up the nuances, after being hit with a rush of personality and charisma, tinted with a whole load of respect for the classics! 8/10

Diemonds: S/T (Self Released)

Juno award nominated Canadian hard-rock quintet, Diemonds return with their third album following Never Wanna Die (2015) and The Bad Pack (2012). Despite not yet achieving considerable success outside of Canada and North America, creating a name for themselves has involved making lots of friends in the rock and roll world, notably by working with the producer of Billy Talent and Cancer Bats, Eric Ratz , as well as touring with raucous and legendary rock including lending support slots to The Darkness, Megadeth, Steel Panther and even Guns N Roses! If you thought from reading the titles of their past works that Diemonds would have a certain style of traditional rock n’ roll grit, you would be exactly right! From the opening moments of Breath, the rhythmic drumming, and confident riffing grab your attention, before the female lead vocalist, Priya Panda cuts through the static with a ferocious yet striking tone.

The momentum is kept up on the chugging and grungy Our Song, as well as the anthemic Shoulda Listened To Ya. Later, Waiting For Something exudes the catchiness and memorability of a pop song, yet the execution still has the attitude and realness of the harder moments, as does the equally beguiling yet sentimental I Miss. These are still strong rock songs, instrumentally at least, yet they prove an ability to diversify songwriting, away from the hard-hitting and frenetic songs in the vein of Burn It Down or I See Red, at times where a more touching or danceable moment feels needed. Not to say they don’t close out on a strong note, Warrior being a gigantic, adrenaline driven, fist-in-the-air anthem for the downtrodden. ‘’We’re Warriors, We’ll never back down’’ rings the closing line, bringing a determined end to an album bursting with hooks, energy, and rock songs which don’t forget the all-important element of fun! 7/10

Wilson: Tasty Nasty (Century Media)

Fusing styles from hip-hop to metal, Wilson certainly knows not to take themselves too seriously, spending their songs unashamedly mocking the clichés, preening, and grandiosity, which many genres begin to ooze after they losing their original charm, becoming stale and forcing everyone to jump ship to escape the rancid stench of mediocrity. There's only one problem: attempting to parody music so smothered in its own ego and braggadocio – e.g the raunchiness of hair metal or the pseudo machismo of later era nu-metal - that it becomes a joke in itself, leads to some mixed results. Lead single, Like A Baller funny, the snooty, nerdy tone mixed with a story of a car salesman fantasising about living the life of fame and wealth, pointing and laughing at the fake-edginess you're typical of ‘sick of this day job, they will worship me one-day’ cliché. My Hustle takes this joke to the extreme, the sheer exaggeration warranting a good laugh. 

Act My Age and Spanish Coffee are examples of cringe comedy at it's finest, the not so subtle sexual innuendos of ‘’Six ounces of hot lovin’, whipped cream, cherries yum’’ proving quite hysterical, at least to anyone with an immature side. Yet for every well-mocked platitude or extravagant instrumental piece, there are moments like Wrong Side Of History or Everyone Gets A Round On Me, which aside from appearing on a comedy album, do very little else to remind you that they are actually jokes and not cuts from some obscure rap-rock band. True, the music being ridiculed can be quite ridiculous, but no one is going to want to laugh at a carbon copy of the styles they would rather be seeing ripped to shreds, especially when there are examples of the same gag being made better 5/10

No comments:

Post a Comment